What is a Schrebergarten or Kleingarten? Germany’s Little Gardens

You are traveling along in Germany, and suddenly on the side of the railroad tracks, there is a cluster of fenced in tiny houses surrounded by small gardens. Are these actual homes? Are they campground for seasonal workers? Is this where the Garden Gnomes live when they aren’t in your garden?? Actually, these little plots of land are called Schrebergarten…

Playmobil for Easter- Fill the Easter Basket with Bunnies & Eggs that Last!

Playmobil 4450 Bunny Spring Workshop When filling Easter Baskets for kids, it’s nice to include something that they can enjoy playing with for a long time. Why not add a set from Playmobil for Easter? I’ve written before about my love for the high quality Playmobil toys that encourage children to use their imagination–>Playmobil Toys. Not only are they well made, and…

Steinbach Company in Germany- Still Making Erzgebirge Magic for the World

  “We want to bring the Erzgebirge magic into peoples homes all over the world.” While scrolling through Facebook recently, I came across an interesting comment on the Steinbach Nutcracker fan page… it said that the Steinbach Company in Germany had been purchased, and the factory was up and running again. WHAT! I did some digging, and couldn’t find much……

A Mysterious German Trend- Photos with a Man in a Polar Bear Suit

  When I was a child, I loved paging through the family photo albums. Old black and white photos of family from years ago fascinated me. Imagine, my mother had braids! My father in a a baby carriage. But the one photo that drew me, more than any other, was the photo of my mother with a POLAR BEAR! The…

Shopping for German School Supplies in Germany

My daughter, Katy, spent a Semester studying in Berlin. I’m delighted that she sent us a few posts about life as a California Girl in Germany. This week… shopping for German School supplies. Apparently, it’s not the same as it is here in California…  All photos taken by Katy used with permission.  There were many things I expected to be…

The Mainzelmännchen… Guud’n Aamd!

Cover image of Mainzelmännchen Michael Kramer, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons Isn’t it nice how the little things can make you so happy? One distinctly German cartoon that brought me endless delight was the Mainzelmännchen! These little animated men on German TV would come on during the commercials in quick animated spots that just made us LAUGH. Over…

What is a Tante Emma Laden? A Corner Store with a Special History

Cover photo- My mom behind the counter of her father’s Laden. That’s me, the Daumenlutscher, on the right What is a Tante Emma Laden? Oddly, one of these shops holds a very important place in my life. My very first memory is of falling down the steps in front of my Opa’s Tante Emma Laden. (This had nothing to do…

Traditional German Games Kids and their Omas like to Play!

While I was growing up, my family played a LOT of traditional German Games. Games like Mensch Ärgere Dich Nicht, Mühle, Schwarzer Peter and Quartet. My Oma was part of a Doppelkopf group, and Dad loved Skat. In the car, we would play Stadt Land Fluß to pass the time. Today Board Games are undergoing a Renaissance of sorts… newer,…

German Hand Blown Glass Ornaments-Delicate Christmas Gems on Your Tree

My heart broke a little bit last night when I heard the crash… a glass VW Bug ornament slipped from my hand and shattered on the wooden floor. I know, I know, they are only things… but some things have so much more value… both in emotional attachment and dollar signs. Luckily, it wasn’t one of the vintage German Hand-Blown…

How is the German Chancellor Elected?

For people who live outside Germany, the German election system may seem a bit confusing. Just how is the German Chancellor elected? I’m going to do my best to give a concise explanation to help you understand how their system works. For the record, I am not endorsing any German Political Party, this is just an informational article to try and…

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